From participation to development - Final international conference of the project WTD
On 5 and 6 June 2014, the Council of Europe hosted the final international conference of the project WTD. On 5 June, the event rotated around the bridge of the concepts of participation and development, focus respectively of the Europan years 2013 and 2015.
During a tight day of work, including a keynote lecture on development by Prof. Balducci from Florence University, and a special session on local governance in Ukraine, the participants elaborated a document aiming at summarising the best practices and experiences gained through the project over the past three years, and to drive innovation and development by strengthening the cooperation between local authorities and civil society.
Read their statement:
Every citizen has a role to play in development, & local authorities and civil society need to work together for development
WTD partners and associate call for an essential link between the European Year of Citizens 2013 and the European Year for Development 2015
Over the last three years, the project Working Together for Development (WTD) brought together the skills and experiences of local authorities and civil society organisations in the enlarged Europe, providing them with information, training and networking on decentralised cooperation and development. It therefore put together the European framework with a strong impact at the local level. The coordination of ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, was key to the project achievements, in light of the established ability of the association to impact at grass root level while being a wide, well recognised European network.
All partners and associates of the project, gathering on 5 June at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg for the final international conference, call upon the authorities in the enlarged Europe for addressing development with attention to its main challenges.
First of all, it is essential to address local needs, especially when we face development issues, also thanks to international networks and support: working together on development actually means to tackle local needs through transnational eyes, contributing thus to a better world.
Secondly, we strongly support a multi-stakeholder and multilevel governance on development, promoting this approach at all levels.
Last but not least call, citizens participation in development needs to be encouraged, promoted and supported, as well as the cooperation between civil society and local authorities, which favours the identification of better solutions to local and global challenges, resulting also in a cost-effective method.
By stimulating cooperation of local authorities and civil society in Europe and in the Neighbourhood, all the partners have turned into multipliers and implementers of European development cooperation policies. ALDA and all WTD partners are therefore engines of a multilevel and multi-stakeholder development encompassing the European Union borders.
The project WTD focused on information, training and networking for LAs and CSOs in the field of development cooperation and has created the basis for getting most of the co-applicants further involved in the development cooperation field. It focused its action on making associations of LAs and networks of CSOs (with special focus on the “new” Europe – EU13 – and the neighbouring areas) become qualified implementers of the EU policies on development.
A natural follow-up (represented by the newly submitted project entitled LADDER, awaiting for approval expected in July 2015) requires a new step further: raise awareness and strengthen the capacity of associations of LAs and networks of CSOs to act in a sustainable way as drivers for change and development, fostering their role of multipliers within their countries, communities and networks for developing a multi-level active engagement in global challenges.
See also the presentations of WTD partners: